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8110 Gatehouse Road, Falls Church, VA 22042

What Is a Non-Healing Wound?

A non-healing or chronic wound is defined as a wound that does not improve after four weeks or does not heal in eight weeks. These include:

  • Wounds that repeatedly break down
  • Diabetic foot ulcers*
  • Venous-related ulcerations
  • Non-healing surgical wounds
  • Pressure injury (bed sores)
  • Wounds related to metabolic disease
  • Wounds that repeatedly break down
  • Wounds from cancer treatment
  • Arterial wounds
  • Traumatic wounds
  • Burns
  • Compromised flaps and grafts

*If you have diabetes, any sore or tender spot on the foot warrants immediate attention from a physician, regardless of how long the wound has been present. Inova Wound Healing physicians are an expert resource for diabetes-related foot wounds.

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Why Should I Be Concerned About a Wound That Is Not Healing?

Infection is the greatest risk from non-healing wounds. Each of us is exposed to common bacteria, such as staphylococcus and pseudomonas, every day. These bacteria are present on our skin and in the environment around us. They don't present a problem when we are healthy and wound free. But an open wound raises the chance for infection, which can lead to serious conditions, even the loss of a limb. Besides infection, there are other cellular and vascular wounds that may also be slow to heal.  

Symptoms of an Infected Wound

A qualified provider who deals with non-healing wounds is your best resource for questions about potential infection related to a wound that is not healing properly. Symptoms that may indicate an infection include:

  • Increasing pain
  • Redness and warmth around the wound
  • "Oozing" from the wound
  • An odor coming from the wound
  • Wound not healing

Diagnosis and Treatment

Our physicians and team members draw upon one or more of the following diagnostic, treatment and educational options to tailor a program just for you:

  • Laboratory Tests
  • Vascular Studies
  • Nuclear Medicine
  • Radiology Exams
  • Skin or Tissue Grafting
  • Medications and Dressings to Enhance Wound Healing
  • Physical Therapy
  • Dialysis
  • Nutritional Management
  • Transcutaneous Oximetry
  • Diabetes Education
  • Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBO)